Is catharsis actually healthy? Does it make us feel better to express our anger?
One researcher has listed conditions under which catharsis would actually make you feel good:
- No retaliation from the target. (The person who your anger is directed can’t or won’t defend themselves.)
- Ideally, you are anonymous (Related to number 1)
- Your anger is proportional to the offense. (Someone does something trivial, but you hit them with a howitzer, you’d be embarrassed by your overkill. But if you feel your response is the appropriate, righteous thing, then you’ll feel good)
All of these conditions are of course met by the internet. You get to rant whenever you want and you get to be self-righteously satisfied.
(Roughly paraphrased by Carol Tavris)
No wonder why people get so angry on the internet!
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